Freelance license and visa may be just what you need.

Freelance license and visa may be just what you need.

You’ve probably heard about the ‘gig-economy’ right, well now it’s here. Great news for you budding creatives, consultants, and techies. Abu Dhabi is making it much easier for you to start your self-employed business right now. Available to everyone that has the right experience for the trade, whether you are living in Abu Dhabi or quite literally anywhere in world, you can now register your own business. Ideally suited to second-income situations where you gig part-time and mind the day job, but we all started small and sometimes the first few steps are the hardest.

With a little creativity and positive attitude, the opportunities are endless.

If you are considering one, here are some quick answers to those first questions in your mind and as always, do feel free to get in touch with us to find out more.


What is it and how do I get it?

It’s a license for you as an individual to carry out a self-employed business from wherever you want to.

Do I need permission to get one?

You may need a no-objection letter if you are currently sponsored by an employer in the UAE and you will need to demonstrate that you have either 3 years’ experience or an academic qualification (normally a diploma or above, fully attested).

Is the application process complex?

Not at all. With some careful preparation and lining up the required documents in advance of the application, you can receive your license within a few days.

What about a bank account?

The banks have not yet released any specific accounts for freelancers, but you can surely use your personal account. Just have a word with your bank to update them that you will be receiving business income.

Does it come with a residency visa?

No, it’s a license for you to trade as a freelancer but you can extend it to register for issuing visas for you and your family.

What about taxes?

Unless you are earning above the VAT registration starting point of around $100,000 per annum (on current registration levels), then no, you won’t need to register for either VAT, Income Tax or any other forms of taxes in the UAE.

Some small print here of course – do take professional tax advice if you are dual resident or just a generally complex mix of residences, businesses etc.